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We Share Walls

Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco

Katherine E. Hoffman

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Allgemeine und Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft


We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco explores how political economic shifts over the last century have reshaped the language practices and ideologies of women (and men) in the plains and mountains of rural Morocco. * Offers a unique and richly textured ethnography of language maintenance and shift as well as language and place-making among an overlooked Muslim group * Examines how Moroccan Berbers use language to integrate into the Arab-speaking world and retain their own distinct identity * Illuminates the intriguing semiotic and gender issues embedded in the culture * Part of the Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture Series


Fatima Sadiqi, Harvard University
"In vivid prose, this breakthrough book portrays howMorocco's Berber women and men - in remote villages andtowns, on radio, and in schools - use language as a keyelement to shape how they 'belong' in Moroccan societytoday and in the process reshape the idea of 'center'and 'periphery'." Dale F. Eickelman, Dartmouth College <!--end--> "Katherine Hoffman is a gifted ethnographer and hernuanced account of language, gender, poetry, and place in BerberMorocco resonates with the rich sensory texture of livedexperience. Her chapter on radio is alone worth the price ofadmission - a pioneering work of media ethnography inlinguistic anthropology." Richard Bauman, Indiana University "With compassion and intellectual acuity, Hoffman'sstudy of the Berber-speaking Ishelhin of Southern Morocco evokes asociety where the spoken word has molded a deep attachment toplace. Her observations glow with the intensity of livedexperience, distilled from a total immersion in the land, language,and people of this remote region. Using speech, poetry, and song askeys to understanding social process, We Share Wallsrepresents a major contribution to contemporary Moroccan Studiesand to the wider field of ethnolinguistics." Susan Gilson Miller, Harvard University "A beautiful and deeply researched ethnography that elucidateshow performance genres like talk, song, and poetry create a senseof place and a particularly Berber (and gendered) response tomodernity." Deborah Kapchan, The Tisch School of the Arts, New YorkUniversity "A richly detailed study of the changing politics of language inMorocco. Hoffman deftly shows how Berber women's everyday labourkeeps alive the homeland and mother tongue that are the chargedobjects of migrant men's nostalgia and identity. This is linguisticanthropology at its best, and broadest." Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University "At last we have an account of Berber Morocco that probesspace, culture and people in a highly sensitive and eloquent style.Hoffman brings to the forefront a long marginalised language and analmost forgotten community. This is indeed ethnography at its best.Readers will be inspired by the breadth and depth ofHoffman's treatment." Enam Al-Wer, University of Essex "An excellent in-depth study of the gender and languagedynamics in Berber communities. A highly readable and timelyaddition to the emerging and promising scholarship on language,gender and women in Morocco."
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Anthropologie, Linguistic Anthropology, Social & Cultural Anthropology, Soziale u. kulturelle Anthropologie, Anthropology, Linguistische Anthropologie